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If I had a cancer as a child, will my children be at increased risk for cancer?
Will I pass on an abnormal gene to my kids that could cause cancer?
Should my children have genetic testing?
Childhood cancer survivors often ask these questions.
Most childhood cancers are not believed to be inherited. Only about 5-15 percent of childhood cancer cases occur because of an underlying genetic condition. A genetic counselor can help answer questions about risks and testing.
A genetic counselor can help answer questions about genetic testing and support families in their decision-making.
Counselors can also provide information about the risk of passing on a genetic condition associated with an increased chance of developing cancer.
In general, genetic testing starts with the person who had cancer. If that person is found to have a genetic condition, testing of his or her children should be discussed with a genetic counselor who can review the benefits and risks of genetic testing.
Reviewed: May 2020